A Tale of Two Bugattis

© BugattiExtreme Performance
With 1500 horsepower under the hood, the Bugatti Chiron is easily one of the most extreme sports cars in the world, and the performance figures for this stylish coupe are practically off the charts. Although engineers at Bugatti created the Chiron as an all-around performer, the automaker has announced two new versions based on owner feedback. Taking the Chiron in two different directions, Bugatti created the Pur Sport designed around improved handling, while the Super Sport 300+ is all about top speed.

© BugattiChiron Stats
For those unfamiliar with the Bugatti Chiron, the following specs and stats put this car in a league of its own. Power comes from an 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine producing 1500 horsepower and an insane 1180 lb-ft of torque available as low as 2000 rpm. The Chiron uses a two-stage turbocharging system that starts with two turbos engaged for quicker, controlled acceleration, and then at 3700 rpm the other two turbos kick in. The Chiron sprints to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, and in 6.5 seconds it is passing 124 mph.

© BugattiTop Speed Record
When Bugatti introduced the Chiron, engineers and pundits alike anticipated that the car would be capable of exceeding 300 mph; however, the production model has been electronically limited to a “mere” 261 mph (420 km/h). Last fall Bugatti took a specially configured Chiron to the enormous Volkswagen Group test track at Ehra-Lessien in Lower Saxony, Germany, with the goal of breaking that magical 300 mph barrier. (The Volkswagen Group owns Bugatti.)

© Bugatti304 MPH
With Bugatti test driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Andy Wallace at the helm, the Chiron recorded a top speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h), making it the fastest production car in the world and the first to break 300 mph. Wallace planned his top-speed run with specific braking and acceleration points for maximum speed. “I went at full throttle from the start for approximately 70 seconds. It was important for me to be out of the bend at 200 km/h in order to reach top speed on the straight. That required the very highest level of concentration,” said Wallace. At top speed, Wallace’s Chiron covered the length of a football field in less than 1 second.

© BugattiDesign Changes
To better reach and exceed the 300-mph barrier, Bugatti needed to make some design changes to the Chiron. The most noticeable update to the record-breaking car is located out back. The rear end has been lengthened and narrowed — referred to as a Longtail — resulting in significant drag reduction since there is less surface area at the rear for air to cling to at speed. With a modified exhaust pipe configuration, the diffuser in the center of the rear end can generate almost enough negative lift by itself, allowing the rear wing to remain retracted during high-speed runs.

© BugattiBetter Aero, Less Drag
Additional go-fast changes included air curtains installed at the front corners to help direct airflow. Holes in the front fenders eliminate air pressure buildup under the wheel arches, creating a bit of negative lift — again, without adding drag. According to Bugatti, the reduction in drag and improved aero are necessary to get past 270 mph while keeping the car stable.

© BugattiChiron Super Sport 300+
To commemorate this outstanding land speed achievement, Bugatti is building a limited number of Chiron Super Sport 300+ variants fashioned after the record-breaking car. The Super Sport 300+ will feature all of the go-fast design changes found on the original 300+ mph car. In addition, the Super Sport 300+ gets the same look with exposed Jet Black carbon fiber with Jet Orange racing stripes. At the front sits a special Bugatti logo made from genuine silver and black enamel. All trim gets finished in Nocturne — including the lightweight magnesium wheels.

© BugattiMore Power
Besides these functional and stylistic changes, the Super Sport 300+ receives a slight bump in power. The W16 engine produces a prodigious 1600 horsepower — 100 more than the standard Chiron. Citing safety as a major concern, Bugatti engineers are limiting the top speed of the Super Sport 300+ to slightly less than the car’s namesake speed, or “just” 273 mph. The standard Chiron is limited to 261, so the Super Sport 300+ is still the fastest Chiron available. Given these astronomical speeds, there are few roads throughout the world on which such figures could be achieved — perhaps that doesn’t really matter.

© BugattiFastest in the World
“With the Super Sport 300+ we pay homage not just to our glorious history with its numerous speed records but also to the performance of the entire record-breaking team. They were the ones who tackled the challenge of driving over 300 miles per hour,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. “For this reason, the Super Sport 300+ is more than just an edition. It is by far the fastest luxury hyper sports car in the world and a genuine Bugatti in every fiber of its being — uncompromisingly beautiful, fast, comfortable and exquisite.”

© BugattiLimited Edition
Bugatti will build 30 copies of this limited-edition Chiron Super Sport 300+ with the price set at €3.5 million (US$4.1 million). Deliveries are expected to take place in the middle of 2021.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
Where the Super Sport 300+ was conceived around achieving top speed, Bugatti also created a Chiron designed to excel in more spirited driving conditions where lateral acceleration takes priority. “We spoke to customers and realised they wanted a vehicle that is geared even more towards agility and dynamic cornering. A hypersports car that yearns for country roads with as many bends as possible. An unadulterated, uncompromising driving machine. Consequently, the vehicle is called Chiron Pur Sport,” explained Winkelmann.

© BugattiBetter Airflow
The Pur Sport stands out thanks to wider air inlets up front, as well as a larger horseshoe opening designed to provide better airflow at lower (relative) speeds. The front splitter actually sticks out from beneath the front of the car to generate maximum downforce, while louvers at the front fenders allow airflow to eliminate lift. With darker colors on the lower panels, the Pur Sport looks wider and more aggressive than “standard” Chirons.

© BugattiMore Downforce
On the Pur Sport, downforce takes priority over limiting drag, so a large rear wing spans the width of the car. The rear diffuser provides additional downforce. Centrally located and 3D-printed titanium dual tailpipes are extremely lightweight and heat resistant. These modifications result in increased downforce of 26 percent on the front axle and 17 percent on the rear axle.

© BugattiFocus on Agility
Bugatti Head of Exterior Design and Deputy Head Designer Frank Heyl observed, “We focused particularly on the agility of the Chiron Pur Sport. The vehicle generates more downforce at the rear axle while the large, front splitter, air inlets, wheel-arch vents featuring optimized air outlets and a reduced vehicle height strike a clean balance at the front.”

© BugattiWheels and Tires
At the corners of the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport sit magnesium wheels — 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear — that not only look good, they incorporate aero blades to provide brake ventilation as well as improved aerodynamics. The wheels are shod with exclusive Bugatti Sport Cup 2 R tires, developed by Bugatti and Michelin. The additional grip provided by these Bugatti-bespoke tires improves lateral acceleration by 10 percent.

© BugattiChassis and Suspension
Under its skin, the Pur Sport receives additional updates over the standard Chiron, specifically regarding the chassis and suspension. The Pur Sport gets firmer dampers, additional carbon fiber stabilizers at the front and back, as well as springs that are 65 percent stiffer in front and 33 percent at the rear. The Pur Sport weighs about 110 pounds less than the standard Chiron. In combination with the grippier tires, the Pur Sport driver should deliver quicker and more direct steering and much better grip in corners, resulting in higher speeds overall.

© BugattiMore Usable Power
The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport draws power from the standard 1500-horsepower W16 engine; however, engineers increased the redline threshold by 200 rpm to 6900 rpm. Power gets sent to all four wheels via a new 7-speed automatic transmission that has 15 percent closer gear ratios. The result of these changes? The engine stays in the optimal power band longer to provide more power at higher speeds. Combined with the car’s improved handling from other tweaks, the Pur Sport’s entry and exit speeds for corners can be much quicker.

© BugattiQuicker, Not Faster
With these changes the Pur Sport can reach 62 mph in a mere 2.3 seconds, 124 mph in 5.9 seconds and 186 mph in 12.4 seconds — all quicker than the standard Chiron. In sixth gear, the Pur Sport can accelerate from 37 mph to 75 mph in 4.4 seconds — a full 3 seconds quicker. Since maximizing acceleration and agility are the goals of the Pur Sport, top speed gets restricted to 218 mph.

© BugattiLimited Production
Bugatti plans to build 60 copies of the Chiron Pur Sport at a price of €3 million ($3.5 million). “With the Chiron Pur Sport we are showcasing an outstanding vehicle that makes your heart race shortly after having started the engine to push the limits of driving physics even further to the limit than any vehicle ever has done before,” says Winkelmann. “This means we have come full circle, back to the good, old Bugatti tradition,” the Bugatti president mused.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
Final handling tests for the Pur Sport at the Nürburgring.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The Pur Sport has a larger horseshoe grille.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The larger rear spoiler provides plenty of downforce.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The Chiron Pur Sport was supposed to debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The show was cancelled, but this special Chiron still paid a visit to the Swiss city.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The Pur Sport has a unique two-tone paint treatment.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The blue exterior gets carried into the interior trim.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
A most enviable view.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Pur Sport
The exhaust outlets on the Pur Sport are 3D printed titanium.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+
Exhaust outlets were modified for the Super Sport 300+, allowing the center diffuser to generate negative lift.

© BugattiBugatti Chiron
Pur Sport and Super Sport 300+

© BugattiBugatti Chiron
Pur Sport and Super Sport 300+

© BugattiBugatti Chiron
Pur Sport (top) and Super Sport 300+

© BugattiBugatti Chiron
Pur Sport (top) and Super Sport 300+

© BugattiBugatti Chiron
Pur Sport (top) and Super Sport 300+

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